Tag Archives: marriage

Transnational Marriages

3 Aug
a girl in waiting

Photo Credit: David Lazar. A girl in waiting.

by Preyanka S. Chowdhury

 

I am a citizen of the third world, a member of a nation where men reign supreme and women considered a shadow behind them. I am a woman. I am inferior to man and destined to stay at home, raise children and care for my husband. He is the center of my world after all, and his command is my calling.

This is the life of millions of women in under-developed countries. Denied opportunities and suppressed. Unable to seek self-development and barred from any form of free thinking. But why is it only in the under-developed nations that we see this over-bearing intensity of the patriarchal society? While a woman in the first world seeks equal rights, her counterpart in Bangladesh, seeks the permission of her father or husband to allow her to participate in society. Continue reading

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Masculinities 101 Week in Review

11 Apr

Did you miss any masculinities or gender equity news this week? No worries…we’ve got you covered!

There were some wonderful posts this week at Masculinities 101. Clay Darcy began what will be a fascinating three part series on his experiences during a pub crawl. When you do gender studies, even the most mundane parts of your life are transformed—you cannot help but see gender dynamics everywhere!
Julia Meszaros let us reblog her piece from the Huffington Post, in which she dispels the stereotype of the “mail order bride” in an analysis of TLC’s show, 90 Day Fiance; Julia also wrote earlier this month on the power of whiteness in the sex tourism and international marriage industry.

But we weren’t the only ones posting great material. The Gender & Society blog gave us Heather Hlavka’s insightful but disturbing piece, Normalizing Sexual Violence. Hlavka argues that not only is sexual violence fairly commonplace for young girls, they have become used to boys’ and men’s sexual aggression, to the point where they were unlikely to report abuse and harassment. Her piece raises important questions about institutional policy, law, and sexual education.
At Sociological Images, Lisa Wade gives us a model for combatting gender policing, as Eddie Izzard defends his cross-dressing—“They’re not ‘women’s dresses.’ They’re my dresses.” (Side note: My parents are lesbians, and one of my moms self-identifies as butch. She has often been questioned—by family, friends, and even strangers—about wearing “men’s clothing.” Her response has always been, “These aren’t men’s clothes (or shoes, or haircuts, or whatever), they’re mine.”)
Mychal Denzel Smith argues at Feministing.com that there is never a defense for sexual harassment.
Finally, this post is a great response to the criticism baseball player, Daniel Murphy, faced when he missed a game to spend time with his newborn baby.

And for all you academics, there is a new issue of Men & Masculinities this month, with articles on men/masculinities and self-injury, mass murder, education, and philanthropy.

Desiring an Exotic June Cleaver: Race in the Commercialized Romance Tour Industry

4 Apr

The commercialized romance tour industry provides American men interested in meeting a foreign bride with the network and connections to make this ‘dream’ a reality. American men involved in this industry desire a foreign woman who possesses traits associated with white femininity from the 1950’s. The image of this femininity is captured in the television character of June Cleaver, as she exemplifies the stereotype of 1950’s suburban, middle-class femininity. Her work is the work of the home, and she is always dressed in a feminine manner, cooking dinner in her pearls and high heels. White, middle class women are no longer at the top of the desire hierarchy for a certain section of American men, since they are no longer feminine enough and have become too ‘masculinized’ by feminist ideas of gender equality. These men are seeking women that still possess the stereotypical 1950’s idealized ‘traditional’ white, middle class femininity, and the emotional labor ‘good’ wives provided men back then (beyond just housework). These American men construct foreign women from certain geographic regions (Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia) as ‘exotic’ women that still possess this nostalgic vision of 1950’s femininity that they desire. Latin American, as well Eastern European and Southeast Asian women, are naturalized in the romance tour market as having the proper cultural grooming that has made them more traditional, feminine, docile and better mothers (Schaeffer-Grabiel 2006).

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